What point buy is right and what characters are effected the most.


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I think the question on what classes are effected the most is kind of obvious since I've seen plenty discussion of MAD and SAD classes. So the pathfinder standard is 15 I personally use 25 point buy and i don't notice as big of a problem with MAD characters as I've seen expressed.

So assuming monsters would get buffed up with a higher point buy used what would be the best point buy to allow more of a balance between MAD and SAD character?

I Think the biggest Transition of mad vs sad would be monk vs wizard. If someone has better pile on!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I let my players have 25 with the stipulation I don't want to see more than one score at 18 after racial adjustments and no scores below zero.

That lets them spread out, but cuts back on max/min.


That is not bad my groups rarely drop a stat below 0 anyways unless for RP reasons I don't mind the 20's that much but I could see limiting them to 18 to reign it in a little.

Dark Archive

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20pb to 15pb


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Anguish wrote:
no scores below zero.

Do you mean below 10?


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20 point buy is standard.

Not effected at all: Pet classes. Druid. Synthesist Spiritualist. Seriously you can make pretty badass dwarf druid off of a 0 point buy.

not really effected: casters. Casting stat, con, good to go

Hit with the ugly stick: martials

Run over by the ugly bus: MAD classes: multiple attribute dependent. Monks and Paladins especially.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
20 point buy is standard.

In PFS. But the standard assumed in the books is 15 (which gives us the 15/14/13/12/10/8 elite array).


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Run over by the ugly bus: MAD classes: multiple attribute dependent. Monks and Paladins especially.

If you're starting with a 16 or 17 in your primary stat and a 15 in your secondary it is not too bad.

I usually end up with 9/17/14/15/10/12 after racial adjustments when building my magi.

A character not caring about charisma could, obviously, dump that stat and bump up both the 17 & 15.

Rearranging the numbers slightly gives decent stat arrays for both paladins and monks.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The standard baseline assumption for the Adventure Path and Modules lines is a 4-PC party built with 15-point buy, and with players of average levels of ability.

PFS has a different baseline assumption: a 6-PC party with characters built on a 20-point buy. Consequently, PFS scenarios are designed to be more challenging than modules or APs aimed at the same PC level.

I run my home games with a 15-point buy. I don't play PFS.

It has been my observation on the boards that there are a lot of complaints by GMs that their PCs are curb-stomping published AP or module encounters as-written, and must beef up the opponents to keep it challenging. When pressed, the vast majority of such GMs say that they allowed 20- or 25-point buy and/or are running the adventure with 6 PCs.

There's nothing wrong with allowing more powerful PCs, but you'll have to up the CR of encounters in published adventures to make it challenging for your players. (You'll likewise need to up the treasure given out to keep the PCs at the appropriate WBL...)


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Haladir wrote:

The standard baseline assumption for the Adventure Path and Modules lines is a 4-PC party built with 15-point buy, and with players of average levels of ability.

PFS has a different baseline assumption: a 6-PC party with characters built on a 20-point buy. Consequently, PFS scenarios are designed to be more challenging than modules or APs aimed at the same PC level.

I run my home games with a 15-point buy. I don't play PFS.

It has been my observation on the boards that there are a lot of complaints by GMs that their PCs are curb-stomping published AP or module encounters as-written, and must beef up the opponents to keep it challenging. When pressed, the vast majority of such GMs say that they allowed 20- or 25-point buy and/or are running the adventure with 6 PCs.

There's nothing wrong with allowing more powerful PCs, but you'll have to up the CR of encounters in published adventures to make it challenging for your players. (You'll likewise need to up the treasure given out to keep the PCs at the appropriate WBL...)

The issue with low point buys is that it has a very strong tendency to hurt weaker classes more.

Upping the point buy makes PC vs NPC interactions slightly more imbalanced, but will usually moderately reduce PC vs PC imbalance. Coincidentally, fixing PC vs NPC imbalance is far easier, because it all can be handled GM side without resorting to tactics like "coincidentally" dropping loot better suited towards weaker PCs (which can fail to work or cause serious problems for a whole swath of reasons).


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

I think the question on what classes are effected the most is kind of obvious since I've seen plenty discussion of MAD and SAD classes. So the pathfinder standard is 15 I personally use 25 point buy and i don't notice as big of a problem with MAD characters as I've seen expressed.

So assuming monsters would get buffed up with a higher point buy used what would be the best point buy to allow more of a balance between MAD and SAD character?

I Think the biggest Transition of mad vs sad would be monk vs wizard. If someone has better pile on!

Can I ask why people seem to like point buy? I always have my players roll 4d6 reroll 1 drop lowest.

i always find point buy makes the characters pretty predictable in terms of stats?

there is nothing like forcing a character to roleplay a -7 int but 18 str.

with point buy that isnt really feasible?

can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?


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If a player will curbstomp an AP with a 20 point buy they will do it with a 15 point buy. The point buy alone is not enough to warrant a CR increase.

There have been 1000 post here on why people like point buy.

1. It removes situations where one person has super stats and someone else's character has terrible stats, which can have an impact on making combats for the GM.

2. It allows more choice for the player to make the character they want. The character is the only thing they really have full control over so I at least try to give them that.

3. You can't force anyone to RP anything no matter if you use point buy or if you roll. The fact that some people might dump down to that -7 is actually a complaint some have against point buy. On the other hand it is very possible to not roll low enough when rolling to get any negative numbers even after racial adjustment. I have rolled more than one character with scores no lower than a 14, more than once.

Going back to my first point:
Some will say that if the rolling is uneven the person who rolled low will get a reroll, but if you are just going to let them keep rerolling then I have two solutions.

1. After everyone rolls a person can choose to use the rolls made by someone else if they want.

2. Just use a stat array. That way you don't have to worry about buying down points, and you don't have to deal with rerolling.


I think the guidelines where 10 is low-fantasy, 15 is standard fantasy, 20 is high fantasy, and 25 is epic fantasy are more or less correct.

I mean think of it this way, if you're doing a gritty low fantasy game, "un-armed and un-armored monk kicking butt" would really conflict with the tone of the game you're trying to tell. But if you're doing an epic fantasy sort of game, all that crouching tiger wire-assisted stuff is totally valid.

So it depends on what kind of story you want to tell. If you want the players to do great things and change the world, give them good stats. If you want the players to struggle to survive, you probably want them to have worse stats.

If people have specific character ideas in mind that require good stats in order to work, I'm inclined to be more generous with stats.


Snowlilly wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Run over by the ugly bus: MAD classes: multiple attribute dependent. Monks and Paladins especially.

If you're starting with a 16 or 17 in your primary stat and a 15 in your secondary it is not too bad.

I usually end up with 9/17/14/15/10/12 after racial adjustments when building my magi.

A character not caring about charisma could, obviously, dump that stat and bump up both the 17 & 15.

Rearranging the numbers slightly gives decent stat arrays for both paladins and monks.

A magus, especially a dex one, is very not mad (which is half the point of making a dex magus)

You need dex to hit and ac and damage

Con, a lil more than most

but your int doesn't have to be sky high, because you're not using spells that require saves.


Lobolusk wrote:


Can I ask why people seem to like point buy? I always have my players roll 4d6 reroll 1 drop lowest.

i always find point buy makes the characters pretty predictable in terms of stats?

there is nothing like forcing a character to roleplay a -7 int but 18 str.

with point buy that isn't really feasible?

can i get a pro point buy point of view so i can understand the point buy though process?

Personally, I like using dice rolls more too, and my group prefers using heroic rolls (each stat is generated using 2d6+6) since we like making high-power characters.

But here's one benefit I can see to point buy over dice rolls: fairness. Dice are random, so you're inevitably going to roll some bad stats at some point. With point buy, everybody is building within the same limitations, and you don't end up with one person who excels at everything because he rolled nothing but 16s and up while another person can't even build an effective Wizard or Synthesist Summoner because his highest roll was a 13.


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Lobolusk wrote:


can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?

Two main reasons, I think. Firstly by cutting out the random element you remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else. Secondly and more importanty, you get to make the character you want to make instead of being at the mercy of whatever the dice let you make.


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Lobolusk wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

I think the question on what classes are effected the most is kind of obvious since I've seen plenty discussion of MAD and SAD classes. So the pathfinder standard is 15 I personally use 25 point buy and i don't notice as big of a problem with MAD characters as I've seen expressed.

So assuming monsters would get buffed up with a higher point buy used what would be the best point buy to allow more of a balance between MAD and SAD character?

I Think the biggest Transition of mad vs sad would be monk vs wizard. If someone has better pile on!

Can I ask why people seem to like point buy? I always have my players roll 4d6 reroll 1 drop lowest.

i always find point buy makes the characters pretty predictable in terms of stats?

there is nothing like forcing a character to roleplay a -7 int but 18 str.

with point buy that isnt really feasible?

can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?

I can't get why people like rolling...

For starters, it creates inequalities in the group. Most people don't find it all that fun when the same players always hog all the glory, which brings me to the second point:

I can't see how fun it is to have your entire campaign's experience based on a few random rolls at the beginning of it. If someone rolled incredibly well, he will outshine every other player every single game until the end of the campaign. Conversely, if he rolled poorly, he will suck and be useless every single session for the rest of the campaign. How is this in any way fun?

But then, you'd probably say "well if someone rolls atrociously, he'd be allowed to reroll". But if you do, then you are essentially unofficially enforcing a point buy system: anyone who randomly rolls within set parameters will keep their scores, anyone outside of the desired array will be forced to start over until they conform. At which point: why even bother? If you really want some randomness, while also keeping everyone of similar power, may as well use a "20+2d4 point buy system"... At least that saves you from the hypocrisy/brutality of allowing/denying atrocious rolls from permanently gimping a player.

Furthermore, point buy gives the player choice. Go figure, some players actually like customizing their characters and aren't fond of the original D&D restrictions that forced stereotypes. It also means that the choice of viable race and class options will remain up to him, and not the luck of the draw.

That being said, about the original topic... are MAD classes really more affected than SAD classes in lower point buy? A two-handed fighter in a high point buy can easily afford to invest heavily in strength, which with power attack can climb to high status bonuses to damage. A wizard will be able to invest in sky-high intelligence, getting a lot of bonus spells and quite higher DCs (okay, relatively). While a monk or a rogue won't be able to afford 18s in all stats that are useful to them, and thus thus bonuses and DCs to any given ability is likely to be much lower than the bonuses to a SAD class ability. Sure, if you went to extremely high point buys, like 100, maybe they could finally afford 18s all around, while SAD classes would start getting capped to how high they can climb due to exponential costs. But if you look at the other opposite, a 0 point buy scenario... SAD classes would have to dump a whole lot of stats if they want to get interesting bonuses. +1/2 str bonus to dmg isn't worth anything if the two-handed fighter has only 10 or 12 str. 12 int on a wizard would only grant 1 bonus lvl 1 spell, but most of all, it wouldn't even allow him to cast lvl 2 spells. Again, that SAD class would be forced to dump a whole lot to get his int to interesting levels. In such a context, by dumping just a few stats, a rogue or monk would be able to bring a lot of stats to 12, making a much more balanced character. Even if he has just "half the bonus" to any given DC or ability, that's likely a mere 5% success difference with the focused SAD class. MAD classes would shine even more with an imposed array of all 10-12 scores.

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The best point buy value is the one that works best for your group. I know that seems like a nonanswer but seriously try a few out and figure out which one leads to the most fun for you. That's why there are several options.

I personally prefer 15 (and the idea you can't play a MAD character with 15 is a myth), but you're not doing it wrong if you like a different number.

I've seen a successful paladin at 7 PB. (Rolled stats, rolled 14 12 10 10 10 10)


Assuming people rolling and posting on the boards are honest, rolled stats are bonkers.

Like one I think recently said his stats were, 15/15/14/17/16/17, or something crazy like that. Like seriously, rolled stats are often reaching like 36 or 47 or some super crazy high numbers. With those stats it doesn't matter much of what you do or which class, your stats are so amazing to override almost anything else. And then compare that to the player that pulled 11/11/10/12/10/8 for stats. He is basically forced into trying to find a way to have his stats not matter since he has none.

If considering die rolls I suggest either having 1 person roll and everyone be taking that roll. Or, as a GM make 1-3 stat arrays that players can choose from.


ryric wrote:

The best point buy value is the one that works best for your group. I know that seems like a nonanswer but seriously try a few out and figure out which one leads to the most fun for you. That's why there are several options.

I personally prefer 15 (and the idea you can't play a MAD character with 15 is a myth), but you're not doing it wrong if you like a different number.

I've seen a successful paladin at 7 PB. (Rolled stats, rolled 14 12 10 10 10 10)

I started the campaign I'm currently GMing at 5 point buy, as part of an innate growth system, with 8 as the minimum stat. You can actually get fairly good arrays for very few points once you start obsessing over 18s (which we had pretty much always done).

You certainly don't need much.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Run over by the ugly bus: MAD classes: multiple attribute dependent. Monks and Paladins especially.

If you're starting with a 16 or 17 in your primary stat and a 15 in your secondary it is not too bad.

I usually end up with 9/17/14/15/10/12 after racial adjustments when building my magi.

A character not caring about charisma could, obviously, dump that stat and bump up both the 17 & 15.

Rearranging the numbers slightly gives decent stat arrays for both paladins and monks.

A magus, especially a dex one, is very not mad (which is half the point of making a dex magus)

You need dex to hit and ac and damage

Con, a lil more than most

but your int doesn't have to be sky high, because you're not using spells that require saves.

Int = bonus spells, AC, initiative, CMD, damage, skill points, arcane pool.

Important enough that I typically use my 4th level attribute increase to bump int to 16 instead of bumping dex to 18.

Goblin_Priest wrote:
I can't see how fun it is to have your entire campaign's experience based on a few random rolls at the beginning of it. If someone rolled incredibly well, he will outshine every other player every single game until the end of the campaign. Conversely, if he rolled poorly, he will suck and be useless every single session for the rest of the campaign. How is this in any way fun?

Been there, done that, had a blast.

The game is far more than just a set of numbers you rolled.

At least it is if you roleplay instead of rollplay.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am actually pretty happy with the way our 15 PB game is going.

One thing that the 20 PB of PFS makes up for is the lack of coordination among the players in making their characters -- unless you and a couple of friends make a point of playing together, you literally have no idea what the composition of the rest of the party will be like. If you know in advance what party roles you are expected to cover and what roles you can safely leave to somebody else, you can focus your character building effort better.


The classic reason why 10 or 15 point buy is considered death for MAD classes is the sheer number of points you need to get 'good' scores in what you need. Stereotypically, a wizard will boost INT, keep CON somewhere positive, invest a couple points in DEX, and dump anything else. A barbarian or fighter will pump STR, keep CON highish, have a few DEX, and 8-out the mental stats (the 'S' in BSF came about for a reason).

Now, Mona the Monk? Even unchained ... Str to hit and damage, especially as she's effectively TWF with a pair of clubs or a quarterstaff. Dex and Wis have their uses there. Con because you can't punch someone from the back row.

SAD classes are easier to build in that sense, and give a little more freedom, in case you want your wizard to have Str 14 for some weird reason. ('He carries a LOT of spell components!') You might be able to make a decent monk in a low point-buy ... but there's little freedom to deviate from the One True Build.


Qaianna wrote:
SAD classes are easier to build in that sense, and give a little more freedom, in case you want your wizard to have Str 14 for some weird reason. ('He carries a LOT of spell components!') You might be able to make a decent monk in a low point-buy ... but there's little freedom to deviate from the One True Build.

Monk, Paladin, Magus and few other classes can get very tight with 15 point builds.

It's still possible, it just means you almost have to dump an unused stat.


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I find the idea of rolling for stats is a lot better than the practice of rolling for stats. Since if you roll at home when you're making your characters, everybody reliably gets really lucky. If you're rolling on the table, someone invariably is going to roll really well and someone invariably is going to roll really terribly.

So I think to reproduce the good parts of the idea of rolling for stats is to just have the GM roll to come up with stat arrays that are all roughly as good as another and have the players pick whichever one they want.

Specifically the thing I dislike about point buy in practice is that it encourages people to take bad stats in order to make their other stats better. If people's point buy characters are any indication, the average charisma on Golarion is less than 10. What's nice about the dice is that you can happen to have a fairly charismatic ranger or cleric who is not at a mechanical disadvantage because their charisma is highish. You might still put your lowest stat in Charisma, but when your lowest stat is a 12 that makes a difference (particularly for people who prefer to RP their stats.)


I find 20-25 pb is much less restrictive on character concepts, and tends to leave players less inclined to dump stats. The GM might need to have a word with the players beforehand about certain caps to avoid someone hyper-specializing, but a lot of the time higher point-buy in my experience tends to be less people pumping what they were already pumping but more so and more people not feeling the need to leave gaps in their attributes open. More flexibility to attend to tertiary and lower stats in priority, and much kinder to people with negative stat aversion.


I took 15 plus one per level from a game that works well. So far, so good.

Sovereign Court

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I prefer 20pt buy. I think it's the sweet spot between SAD party and curbstomping madness party.

The book lists several things that aren't true.

1) That 15pts are the norm. Actually, it lists roll 4d6 drop lowest as the norm, point buy as an alternative, and 15pts as the standard way of doing the alternative. But if you study the average point buy result of random rolling, you end up at about 19pt buy. (It's a fairly complicated calculation especially when you try to factor in people rerolling PCs whose stats match the "hopeless" configuration.)

2) That 10pts would be low fantasy. In fact, at such low built points, pure casters and pet classes are at such a major advantage that the players are strongly incentivized to go for the highest of fantasy.

With 15pts you can certainly make a character competent at a main job, but with 20pts it becomes doable to make characters who are well-rounded, participating in multiple aspects of the game, AND do one main job very well.

That's why I prefer 20pts; I'm fine with boosting monsters a bit to keep combat interesting. I really like that everyone has enough points to be more than a specialist.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Khudzlin wrote:
Anguish wrote:
no scores below zero.
Do you mean below 10?

Not exactly, but effectively. I meant modifiers, not scores. But it works out to the same thing. I was just in a rush before work.


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Snowlilly wrote:

The game is far more than just a set of numbers you rolled.

At least it is if you roleplay instead of rollplay.

Doesn't roleplaying the BMX Bandit get a bit samey after a while?

PossibleCabbage wrote:
If people's point buy characters are any indication, the average charisma on Golarion is less than 10.

Well, among PCs anyway. Maybe that's why they became adventurers.


Personally I like 25. Feels like it opens a lot of concepts and nonstandard builds that otherwise aren't really worth bothering with.

15 PB is serviceable, even for MAD characters, but I find it tends to make characters that are very samey.

I generally haven't found 25 PB to really cause encounter issues either, since it ultimately amounts to a couple of +1s it rarely actually makes a difference from my experience, groups that steamroll APs with 25 PB tend to also steamroll them with 15 PB and groups that struggle with 15 PB only do a little bit better with 25.

Grand Lodge

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25PB with the caveat that scores under 10 do not add points.


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25 point buys, the marginal difference it gives the strongest classes is outweighed by allowing clerics and paladins to have skills.

I think people tend to think point buy matters more than it does; like some kind of hard mode. But really it just makes a number of classes less viable. Hard mode is good, smart combat, with action economy, terrain advantages, tactics.


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Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
25 point buys, the marginal difference it gives the strongest classes is outweighed by allowing clerics and paladins to have skills.

Very much this. Since a pre-racial 18 is so many points (17 IIRC), even if you give people a 30 point buy, most players I've seen would prefer to spread those stats around unless they're seriously min-maxing a SAD class, most people I've seen would prefer to spread those points around to their non-primary stats.

So in practice you don't get super-smart wizards and super-buff fighters, you get wizards with a few more HP, fighters with more skill points, and now everybody in the party can be trusted not to embarrass themselves at fancy parties.

Stuff like "no-preracial 18s" and "you don't get bonus points for going negative" can make even the most generous of point buys not campaign threatening.


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Snowlilly wrote:


At least it is if you roleplay instead of rollplay.

It was only a matter of time before a jerkish comment was made.

Some people never learn.


yeah, I'd start at an even 10 do a 25 unweighted point buy. That means no -2 and -3 after you reach 15 and 16. And on top of that, I'd make it clear that you dont have to take all the points.

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wraithstrike wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


At least it is if you roleplay instead of rollplay.

It was only a matter of time before a jerkish comment was made.

Some people never learn.

I blame Cosmo.


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Snowlilly wrote:

The game is far more than just a set of numbers you rolled.

At least it is if you roleplay instead of rollplay.

An intriguing notion, old bean.

Hm, let me see my array again. Yes, yes, I see, a 7, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12.

You know what I think I would roleplay a character who is, in all respects, mediocre to poor when compared to his peers at any endeavor at all doing?

Not going on a dangerous adventure.


20 point buy.

It is enough that you don't have to write off classes as 'hard'. You can do basic gishes like bards, magi, and paldins with a 16(14 pre racial)/14/14/14/10/10 kind of spread. That is enough to get a good score in a melee stat, decent back up sores in other melee stats, and then a good score in the casting stat.

With that, you can do your job without gutting other aspects of your character.

Monks might be a bit tricky, but that is usually do to AC concerns. There are archetypes and races that can massively alleviate that (sohei can just grab armor and then just do str; tieflings with armor of the pit seem REALLY attractive). But it can be done with everything at 1st level, and you don't have to do a 7 int/7cha thing.


Lobolusk wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

I think the question on what classes are effected the most is kind of obvious since I've seen plenty discussion of MAD and SAD classes. So the pathfinder standard is 15 I personally use 25 point buy and i don't notice as big of a problem with MAD characters as I've seen expressed.

So assuming monsters would get buffed up with a higher point buy used what would be the best point buy to allow more of a balance between MAD and SAD character?

I Think the biggest Transition of mad vs sad would be monk vs wizard. If someone has better pile on!

Can I ask why people seem to like point buy? I always have my players roll 4d6 reroll 1 drop lowest.

i always find point buy makes the characters pretty predictable in terms of stats?

there is nothing like forcing a character to roleplay a -7 int but 18 str.

with point buy that isnt really feasible?

can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?

It makes sure players are more equal and things are more balanced. When you roll for stats you can get crazy variance between players.

Also some classes will really suck if you get the wrong rolls.


I generally don't even bother with anything less than a 20 pt buy and prefer 25 due to my preferred classes being MAD. All restricting point buy does is disicentivize playing weaker classes. The overall power curve of Pathfinder is not really determined by the size of a point but but by the highest single stat you can get because that's what is important to 9th level caster. A 18/10/10/10/10/8 (15 pt) array is arguably better than a 16/16/16/16/16/16 (60) array for the classes that set the power curve, at least once you hit midlevels.

Yes this is somewhat hyperbolic, but that's the general gist of things. All playing lower point buys is is saying "screw you martial/4th level caster classes".


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Point-buy does not affect difficulty level. Point-buy affects number of viable builds.

Also 15 point buy was a math mistake, leaving players 6 PB points below 4d6 drop lowest, and discourages playing anything but a full caster.

If you want an enjoyable game, do 25 PB. 20 PB bare minimum.


ryric wrote:

The best point buy value is the one that works best for your group. I know that seems like a nonanswer but seriously try a few out and figure out which one leads to the most fun for you. That's why there are several options.

I personally prefer 15 (and the idea you can't play a MAD character with 15 is a myth), but you're not doing it wrong if you like a different number.

I've seen a successful paladin at 7 PB. (Rolled stats, rolled 14 12 10 10 10 10)

I have personally and like I said 25 is what I seem to like.


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ryric wrote:


I personally prefer 15 (and the idea you can't play a MAD character with 15 is a myth),

It's not that you cannot play a MAD character with 15 PB, it's that the difference in terms of power between a Wizard in 15 and 20 PB is near null, whereas the difference in power between a Monk in 15 and 20 PB is massive.

There is no point in reinforcing a PB that has absolutely no advantage over the other and plays to the detriment of the creativity of the players.


Thanks for all the feedback everyone. It seems most people agree 20-25 pt buy helps the MAD classes and doesn't do a lot to make the SAD classes to ahead. It also seems that most people agree that The difference between 15- 25 doesn't make a huge difference for encounters. Seems primarily that it just helps mad classes and lowers frequency of dump stats.

The one thing that caught be by surprise is the minion classes summoner druid etc Point buy does not effect them due to Them having the same stats no matter the point buy.

Let me ask this should the companion classes companions be built on the same point buy as the parent class? Is it just not important enough to worry about?


Back in the 1e days we used to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. Then reroll any total that was less than seven.

One lazy afternoon I calculated that the average equivalent point buy in Pathfinder using our 4d6 method was approximately 20.5 points.

Using a spreadsheet I rolled up 1,000 characters using this method and the average point buy matched my calculation to three significant figures so I am reasonably sure my calculation was correct. The variability of results was massive however, the highest point buy rolled out of 1,000 attempts was 62 and the lowest was -4.

Based on this calculation and my in game experience I think a 20 point buy is about right.


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I'll toss out my own houserule regarding point buy that seems to solve a lot of MAD issues: point buy ability increases. Instead of the usual +1 to a stat at 4/8/12/16/20, characters get 1 point buy point at every level up, and an additional point buy point at the 4/8/12/16/20s. So a 5th level character has 5 (4 level +1 from level 4) extra points. A 10th has 11 (9 level +2 from level 4 and 8).

These can be spent to increase a score just like as if you were increasing the score at character creation. The point buy costs for scores above 18 can be easily extrapolated, and of course you subtract racial modifiers before calculating costs.

Mathematically, this lets anyone who would spike up a stat do so at very close to the same rate, ususally only off by 1 level sooner or later than usual. But it allows MAD characters to spread the ability up love around. It also lets ability score improvement happen more often, especially in the low levels prior to getting permanent stat boosters.

Only real criticism I've had from playing with this is that it allows spike statted characters like casters to sacrifice 1 point of primary stat to get equivalently 3-4 points spread around in dexterity and constitution. I think thats a fair trade though, especially since it lets the monks and paladins get a fair shake of things.


One of the problems in figuring out the point buy equivalent of 4d6 drop lowest 1 is that this rolling system can give you ability scores below the lowest that point buy defines a cost/refund for (7). What do people do to figure this in?


If you want a weird way to do it roll 4d6 drop lowest and then if you are below the point buy add extra points if you are above remove points till it fits. (its a lot of work)


UnArcaneElection wrote:

One of the problems in figuring out the point buy equivalent of 4d6 drop lowest 1 is that this rolling system can give you ability scores below the lowest that point buy defines a cost/refund for (7). What do people do to figure this in?

Back in the day we used to reroll results that were less than seven.

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